Sen. Annette Cleveland (D-Vancouver) issued this statement in response to the I-5 bridge advisory report released today by Oregon Secretary of State Dennis Richardson:
“Secretary Richardson’s comments mark a welcome, cross-state sign of support for the efforts of our bipartisan coalition of Southwest Washington legislators who have worked for several years to revive efforts to build a new I-5 replacement bridge across the Columbia River.
“I commend Secretary Richardson for his efforts to help move this important undertaking forward on behalf of the people of both our states as well as all the individuals and businesses who rely on the I-5 corridor.
“This adds continued momentum to our efforts as we look to future meetings of the Joint Oregon-Washington Legislative Action Committee that our state created in 2017. Though Washington can determine only the participation of Washington legislators on this committee, and any formal participation by Oregon lawmakers must be determined by the Oregon Legislature, a number of Oregon lawmakers voluntarily attended our first meeting last December. This increases my optimism that Oregon will take legislative action this session to formalize their participation and we will be able to collaborate together.
“Everyone knows we need a new I-5 bridge. Secretary Richardson’s clear, forward-looking support from across the border today will help transform that need into continued action.”
Secretary Richardson’s full comments on the report can be seen in this news release.